I had to stop what I was doing this morning to write this post. The newswire came in with the headline FRITO-LAY SPRINTS AHEAD TO IMPROVE FUEL EFFICIENCY and I stifled a giggle. Then my blood boiled.
Frito Lay thinks you are an idiot.
Rather than traditional delivery trucks, Frito Lay has announced that they will buy a fleet of Dodge Sprint Delivery trucks. Unlike bullets at wartime, frankenfood is not something we need delivered.
Let’s talk about how Frito-Lay’s Press Release could have been relevant.
- The product could change
- The product could change
- The product could change
Get the point? If you want to give your children a tasty chip as a treat there are options. Try Whole Foods 365 brand, they’re also inexpensive, but sustainable.
Snarkiness aside if Frito Lay was really trying to green their fleet they could retrofit their diesel trucks to run on their own waste oil. Goodness knows they are creating rivers of it. They could also try a hybrid fleet, delivery trucks spend a good bit of time idling. I can’t even comment on the quality of the food, I love my children too much to put that in their bodies.
So, yeah, Frito Lay? I call BS.
[This post was written by Jessica Gottlieb.]
greener loudoun says
Hey, c’mon. Quit pulling punches and tell it like it is! Go get ’em Jessica.
cliff notes says
frito lay has one of the most distributed efficient supply chains in the country.. i.e. if you buy a bag of chips in dallas.. it came from a dallas plant, and the potatoes wore grown in near by parts of texas.. if you live in new york.. it came from their new york plant, and a north eastern farm..
frito lay has a very unique problem.. it has to deliver a product with very little mass but high volume.. so it has to be ultra-efficient.. which means local growing.. which means special engines which turn themselves off when idling for excessive time.. and trucks that are ultra-light.. they have been extremely energy wise for a long time.. there dairy farms for their queso dip runs 20% of their electricty off of the methane from the cows(cow burping)..
I only know this cause I use to be a consultant for frito lay in their supply chain.. this was 7 years ago.. who knows what they are doing now.. so you can be cynical about what they are doing, because they are part of the large corporate power of pepsi-co.. or you can praise them for being at the for-front of efficiency technology.
Or you can do both.. *shrug*
Herb Schmerdtz says
Actually, chip makers use all the oil, it goes out with the product; no waste oil. Read Feb. Popular Mechanics’ green farm piece.
Jessica Gottlieb says
Cliff, I get that they’re slightly more energy efficient than they were next year. I was unaware that they are a Pepsi Company. (mostly because I don’t care) But it’s really not food.
And 17 MPG is not impressive.
So, I’m sorry if I’m not dazzled and I’m still not willing to consider them a green company. I can’t imagine seeing one of their plants and still being willing to eat that.
Dr. Kenneth Noisewater says
17mpg for a delivery van is impressive, though a diesel hybrid for city deliveries would be far moreso.
As far as junk food goes, the amount of calories they can pack into such little volume is pretty shocking IMO.
Shaping Youth says
There’s something about ‘green junk food’ that sounds like an onion post for sure. This NBC video enlightens further, giving a few seconds to FritoLay but the majority to Kettle chips, which was actually quite impressive:
That said, I think we DO need to applaud big biz for taking baby steps(e.g. Safeway going biodiesel, http://tinyurl.com/2g6hmc etc) even if we feel (as I do) that the junk being delivered is creating a blight on our healthscape, and impacting youth cardio and a hella-mess down the line..
Wonder if this pseudo-fleet is FritoLay’s equiv. of carbon offsets for junk food toxicity? 😉
aurora gonzalez says
We understand why there may seem to be a disconnect between the idea of “greening” and a fleet of trucks. By virtue of the way news goes out, we can’t always share all of the work that’s gone into the final decisions we make but — trust me — there’s a lot of trial and error until we land on the better solutions.
Let me talk a little about the interesting options mentioned — by the way, we’ve got some incredibly dedicated folks who are focused solely on our fleet so if you want to learn more or have questions, please let me know!
While we do use cooking oil to make our snack chips –only vegetable oils, in fact, but I’ll get to that in a second — we don’t have any significant amount of waste oil to use for biodiesel. We’ve been contacted by companies who want to buy our waste oil and there’s just not a lot there.
Working with the state of Texas, we tested a hybrid truck. In the end there wasn’t any real difference in the miles per gallon/efficiency of the hybrid trucks versus our current trucks. The big reason why: the type of driving our sales guys do every day doesn’t lend itself to the benefit of hybrids. Whether it’s a truck or a personal car, hybrids perform best when there are multiple starts and stops (basically city driving). That’s why you’ve seen the big delivery companies going to hybrid. Because hybrids didn’t work for us, we needed to find a different solution — hence the sprinter vehicles.
Our products may not be for everyone, but I encourage you to turn the bag around because you might be surprised — for instance, Lay’s Classic potato chips has three ingredients: potatoes, vegetable oil and salt. In fact, all the oils we use for our snack chips (we only use three: corn, soy or sunflower) have 0 grams of trans fat (as they have since 2003), are lower in saturated fat than other commonly-used oils (Lay’s has 1 gram of saturated fat) and the rest of the fat is unsaturated (monos and polys, which are commonly referred to as “good fats”).
While we’re talking about it, you might be wondering about the salt. Again, you might be surprised — Lay’s Classic has 180 mg of salt. That’s comparable to a slice of white bread. Of course, the difference is that we apply the salt to the outside to get that burst of salt flavor that so many love, whereas foods like bread mix it in so the flavor isn’t as predominant.
We can’t change everything at once but we are moving as quickly as we can. We’ve made some good progress — we were the first major food company to eliminate trans fat in 2003; we are changing our fleet and doing a lot more in sustainability (please check out http://www.fritolay.com to learn more).
I hope you can recognize that this is a journey and one we are committed to.
-Aurora Gonzalez, Director – Public Relations, Frito-Lay North America
I for one am grateful for any increase in efficiency that reduces energy use that corporations achieve. Instead of bashing a company and it’s product (that is driven by people buying it…not forced upon anyone), I applaud them for making changes that have an effect equal to thousands of individuals changing their behavior.
You can’t even comment on the quality of the food, because you’d be hard pressed to find a rational explanation for why “frankenfood” is less healthy than the more disease-prone variety.
But facts aren’t important, because Greenpeace /told/ you to get upset about it, dammit.
Jessica Gottlieb says
Actually Jack, I do have an explanation. Your pancreas, liver, kidneys and heart don’t know what to do with an abundance of chemicals, they simply shut down.
You also have a limited number of calories you can ingest each day without becoming ill, it’s important that those calories are nutrient rich.